At this year’s Buy-Side Technology North American Summit, panelists discussed the potential of blockchain technology. Anthony says that first, we need to make clear that bitcoin and blockchain are being used interchangeably.
“Bitcoin is the currency of DDoS attackers and other miscreants; blockchain has some capability.” This was the sentiment of Mike McGovern, CIO at Brown Brothers Harriman, who was speaking on a panel at this year’s Buy-Side Technology North American Summit.
While McGovern was making a joke to punctuate a point, there’s also an underlying truth there: Bitcoin, as a currency, is useful as an exchange-traded product and store of value, but the blockchain ledger is what has the most potential to revolutionize how financial-services firms transact. It’s important to remember that they’re two separate things, because right now these two things are at times incorrectly used interchangeably.
“Everyone is looking at blockchain,” McGovern said. “We’re looking at it. We’ve set aside some funds in our 2016 innovation budget around RD and working with colleagues on the buy side to think about how it can be applied.”
John Shea, CIO at Eaton Vance, echoed McGovern’s sentiments, and compared the evolution of the blockchain to that of the cloud.
“What’s funny about the blockchain is